Diabetes

Table of Contents

Michelle Barratt Psychology is a Toowong and Redland Bay / Wynnum – Manly Clinical Psychology Practice, and aims to provide treatment for Diabetes in Brisbane at the highest standard. The practice values implementing support and treatment that not only endeavours to support their clients feel safe, heard and understood, but also strives to offer effective treatment that will empower clients to learn new skills to support them in the future. If you are unsure about what you are dealing with, please don’t hesitate to contact us to support you through the next step of either working out what to do or how to proceed with an appointment.

Living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can be quite stressful and sometime anxiety provoking. Michelle Barratt, Psychology is based in Brisbane and Redland Bay area, providing psychological support or counselling for individuals and their families struggling with the management of diabetes or for those who provide diabetes support; diabetes carers.​

Why is Support needed?

Carers of either; children, adolescents or adults living with the diagnosis of Diabetes Type 1 or Diabetes Type 2 can at times be extremely overwhelming and tiresome and often burnout can occur (please see: Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 Counselling).​

What Is Diabetes Type 1 or Type 2?

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder characterised by the abrupt onset of symptoms that result from the lack of insulin production by the beta cells of the pancreas. The disorder may appear following a viral infection and likely has a genetic contribution as well.
  • In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system falsely identifies cells in the pancreas as invaders and, accordingly, destroys these cells, compromising or eliminating their ability to produce insulin.
  • Type 1 diabetes usually develops relatively early in life; it forms in childhood or adolescence & is called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
  • The cells of the pancreas that normally produce insulin have been disabled & can no longer produce insulin.
  • Therefore, individuals with Type 1 Diabetes normally require insulin injections to prevent health complications
  • 5-10% of the diabetes population are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the rest are Type 2.

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects older adults, more and more younger people, even children, are getting type 2 Diabetes.
  • In Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin but it is not produced in the amount your body needs and it does not work effectively.
  • Type 2 Diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
  • Type 2 Diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, over time most people with Type 2 Diabetes will also need tablets and many will also need insulin. It is important to note that this is just the natural progression of the disease, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.
  • There is currently no cure for Type 2 Diabetes.

While there is no single cause of Type 2 Diabetes, there are well-established risk factors. Some of these can be changed and some cannot.

You are at a higher risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes if you:

  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are older (over 55 years of age ) – the risk increases as we age
  • are over 45 years of age and are overweight
  • are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
  • are over 35 years of age and are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
  • are over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent or Chinese cultural background
  • are a woman who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs (9 lbs), or had gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 Diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs are dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’. By the time type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may already be present. Symptoms include:

  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradually putting on weight
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

It is estimated, that, up to 60% of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented. People at risk of Type 2 Diabetes can delay and even prevent this disease by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Regular physical activity
  • Making healthy food choices
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Managing cholesterol levels
  • Not smoking.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

While there is currently no cure for type 2 Diabetes, the disease can be managed through lifestyle modifications and medication. For more information on managing type 2 diabetes, refer to the section of this website below.

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Author: Michelle Barratt

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